Vince Wilfork entered the NFL at an interesting time.


Vince Wilfork retires as the best run defender of his generation, but what are his chances at the Hall of Fame?

After the New England Patriots dispatched Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts in the 2003-04 playoffs, the league decided to pay special attention to the contact made by defensive backs on opposing wide receivers. This opened up passing attacks around the league and marked a clear shift in offensive tendencies.

With his positional value low and questions about his health abounding after a hamstring injury sidelined him through San Francisco’s dismal 2016, the 49ers cut bait on the 25-year-old wideout. One day later, the Jets did as well.

That winding road led him to Houston, where he put up a four-catch, 93-yard performance, hauling in 80 percent of his targets while matching up against the Patriots’ first-team defense in his first game with the team. Meanwhile, the 49ers and Jets active receiving corps look like this:

It’s early, and there’s no telling whether Ellington can stay healthy and consistent enough to have an impact in the regular season. He failed to have a noticeable impact in Cheap Dream Team Jerseys San Francisco’s Cheap Authentic MLB Jerseys passing game while healthy, and those 49ers had many of the same quarterback concerns the Texans have now. Even so, waiving the young wideout could be a regretful mistake for two moribund franchises this fall.

Two of the league’s top teams will meet in a potential Super Bowl preview Sunday afternoon when the Falcons travel to Heinz Field for a preseason date with the Steelers. It probably won’t look anything like a Super Bowl preview, though.